Get school vouchers and get rich

Published 9:36 am Monday, April 24, 2017

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


My dream, as a home schooling father, was for the state to pass a school voucher program. In weak moments I coveted the monetary windfall. I made a game of hypothetically determining the dollar amount of the vouchers to calculate said windfall.

My bride and I home schooled all five of our children through high school. Each made it through twelve grade levels of academic preparation for the challenges of life. The math is pretty easy. Five students at twelve years of school equals sixty school years. I knew I would not spend all the money, so I would invest it and in time I would be rich.

But, alas, reality would sink in.

The state never passed the legislation and therefore never offered the vouchers.

But, even if they had, I would not have taken the money. Taking the money would have violated my conscience. I did not choose to home school to get rich. I home schooled to maintain control. My wife and I chose our curriculum based on our personal convictions. The state had no say in our choices. I enjoyed the freedom and independence.

Several of my friends and associates chose to educate their children in private schools. The city where we lived offered three choices. Each had a good reputation and lengthy heritage. Men and women chosen by families whose children attended the school governed these private schools. My impression is they would not have accepted vouchers either. They created the private school to educate their children within the boundaries of their collective freedom and independence.

I wonder if allowing more freedom and independence would foster a healthier and more productive environment leading to higher achievement in public schools.

Twenty years ago, I worked with a teacher in a public school on a programproviding her newspapers to use in her classroom. She was motivated, energetic, creative and took her responsibility seriously. She was always first in line to sign up for the papers offered by the program each year. But, one year she did not call. So I sought her out. In frustration, she acknowledged she could no longer use the newspapers. She had so much mandated material she was forced to give up this valuable tool.

Vouchers are a bad idea, granting more freedom and independence to public school educators is a good idea.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at